Beanie Sigel has a date with the slammer -- again. A federal judge Thursday sentenced the South Philadelphia rapper to two years behind bars for failing to file tax returns for the years 2003 through 2005.
Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2011. U.S. District Judge Jan DuBois also imposed a year of supervised release after the sentence during which time Sigel is supposed to pay all back taxes, interest and penalties he owes.
DuBois gave Sigel, 38, who appeared for sentencing in a gray, short-sleeve polo shirt and baggy denim jeans, until Sept. 12 to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons.
IRS investigators found that Sigel did not file tax returns from 1999 through 2002, except for a $10,000 tax payment in 2001.
Federal prosecutors said that Sigel earned more than $2.2 million in taxable income between 1999 and 2005 and owed Uncle Sam $728,536 for those six years. (He was not charged with tax offenses for the years 1999 through 2002 because the statute of limitations had expired.)
Sigel told DuBois he accepted "total responsibility" for not paying his taxes but also told the court some family members he didn't identify abused his trust in them and took advantage of his earnings to live it up while he was serving time in 2004 and 2005 for federal drug and gun offfenses.
Consequently, "I haven't been able to get my career back on track since," Sigel said, adding that he "didn't live a lavish lifestyle" while dodging his taxes.
DuBois reminded Sigel that even if others "diverted" his earnings for their personal benefit "it was your call not to pay taxes."
Federal prosecutors had sought a guideline sentence of three years, but DuBois said two years was sufficient to meet the goals of sentencing.
"I think you might have violated the tax code for the last time," the judge said.
The rap performer, who is releasing a new album next month and was recently hospitalized with hypertension and related ailments, is no stranger to the criminal justice system. According to court records, he was twice adjudged a juvenile delinquent, has three state convictions for drug distribution, possession and assault in addition to the prior federal conviction for drug possession and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Sigel was acquitted in 2005 of state charges on attempted murder and related offenses.